We interrupt your possible weather tantrums for some important news...bloomingwriter is absolutely crazy about coneflowers, and they're approaching peak bloom in her garden.
I can't repeat often enough that one of the absolute ultimate perennials in our garden is the coneflower. I loved them when we had only two choices, (purple and white); I lost my mind for them when the new colours started appearing. My favourite? You'll see in a bit.
Although this was not the year for getting much done in the garden in spring and early summer, I did manage to addfew new and new-to-our-garden varieties this year, of course. Of those, several haven't yet flowered but are working on it: Meringue, Twilight, and Tiki Torch were all somewhat traumatized when I got them, and are just rallying now. This has been a complaint for other gardeners; that some of the new colours of cones are rushed into production so quickly that the plants are weak when sent out to nurseries. Maybe they should be allowed to grow on for a year and then sold. That would be my opinion.
So far, I'm loving the rich colour of 'Tomato Soup', shown here with a fading flower, one approaching maturity, and several just getting going. This one is planted near 'Summer Sky' and 'Sundown', but I can't get a great photo of all of them in one shot for colour comparisons because they're just that far apart, in various stages of flowering, and so on.
I've been watching the past few days as 'Mac n Cheese' starts to flower. It looks to be almost the same shade as 'Harvest Moon', but we'll see what happens after the weekend. Why after the weekend? Stay tuned below...
This is still my favourite of the new coneflowers, and has been since I brought it home in 2007: 'Green Envy'. I love everything about this cone; its colour, its vigour, its LONG bloom period; it'll still be putting up stems in October, if the past two seasons are any indication.
Equally charming, though different, is the double 'Coconut Lime.' This plant is very vigourous and floriferous this year, though a second plant that was struggling last year is still sulking this summer.
I know not everyone loves the double coneflowers because the central florets obscure the cones But I like the exuberance of 'Pink Double Delight' a great deal. I have another double pink that is suffering from Lost Label syndrome, and I believe it's 'Razzmatazz', which seems to have more reflexed petals than this one.
Speaking of reflexed petals, here is 'Harvest Moon', from the Big Sky series. Its sibling, 'Sundown', is at the top of this post, with leaf-cutter bee slices taken out of several petals. In the background of this photo is 'Sunrise', which is pale yellow and hiding behind the moon.
Here's 'Summer Sky', and I have to say the sky did show these shades last night when the sun set. Tonight, not so much.
This is possibly my second-favourite coneflower because of the message it presents. 'Hope' was created as a tribute to those who have had breast cancer. I've taken it as my avatar in several sites, including on Facebook, and will be changing here, too. The flowers are just gorgeous, and anytime I get one with that green eye staying pretty green I'm happy. Must be part Irish, or something.
We may be needing the luck of the Irish here in Nova Scotia in the next couple of days, because there's a weather tantrum headed this way by the name of Hurricane Bill. While this amuses me a bit because we have a friend named Bill who reminds me of a hurricane, I don't think any of us need a hurricane to come calling. It may hit the south shore of the province, all coasts, or miss us entirely. But I hope that everyone and everything, from coneflowers to hummingbirds to cottages to boats, will stay safe over the next couple of days while the weather forces make up their minds.